Monday, November 15, 2010

Butterflies and Moths

(Caterpillar observation station, plus coloring moth life cycle)

You have to be flexible like that and work with what comes. We had planned to focus for some weeks on conservation and had a trip to the recycling facility scheduled, and a beach cleanup, but in the middle of it, one of the children brought two ENORMOUS moth caterpillars and that was that... the children were consumed with interest in the moth life cycle. It was prime time to study insects.

We have collected a few more butterfly caterpillars and begun a "unit" on butterflies and moths. This is how it's developing:

*Identification of local butterflies and moths (with classification cards)
*Identification of caterpillars (classification cards)
*Identification of pupae (classification cards)
*Matching of caterpillars and host plants (with live samples of the leaves when we can find them)

*Life cycle of the moth/butterfly (true story and in our observation station with live caterpillars)
*Parts of a butterfly/moth (with a labeled chart and coloring booklets)
*Differences and similarities between moths and butterflies (comparing two pictures)
*Sorting butterflies vs. moths (with mixed classification cards)

*Planting a simple butterfly garden at school (I've been collecting seeds of local butterfly host plants, and small flowering plants for nectar)

*Field trip: visit to the Butterfly Farm

We are lucky enough to have a lovely Butterfly Farm on our small rock in the middle of the ocean to bring to life all of the identification preparation we will be doing in the next days. And because two years ago we visited the butterfly farm, our third year children are ready for new classification cards (hence the pupae and caterpillar cards). I am as excited to learn about these insects, plant our butterfly garden, and visit the farm as any of the children are!

For You:
If you'd like to print our butterfly/pupa/caterpillar cards you are welcome to! Find them HERE. They are related specifically to the species we encounter locally, and the ones we will see at the Butterfly Farm.

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